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1 - Sit Down and Shut Up ep 1

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Introduction to Dzogchen meditation from the perspective of the Aro gTér. In this episode, Mé-tsal Wangmo and Ja'gyür Dorje start with the question "Why bother meditating at all?"

And so clad. I think we'll start and these sessions will be sections. These books on meditation will be kept on the page, so you'll be able to access them later. So apologies if anybody is missing the beginning because we're getting things set up, although you're probably just missed that bit. So I myself for that's with no idea who's watching this. I will introduce ourselves. I'm mates out and this is Jaggier, my teacher, and I'm Jegu and this is my teacher, mess up, and we're going to be giving these half hour talks about meditation ongoing. It'll probably take some time because half an hour is a very long and it's a huge subject and we're going to as the week's progress, will be talking more and more about meditation within Vadriana and in particular from the for now Jews of so transcend day. So if you're new to Buddhism on new to meditation, please don't worry about that. As the weeks go by some of these terms will become clearer. But today really talk about is why would you bother meditating in the first place? I think when we advertise this we did say that it was the single most useful thing you could ever learn. Although that sounds like a horrible bit of Mutting, it is actually what we believe quite firmly. That doesn't mean that we think everybody needs to become a Buddhist or they need to become a Verdiana Buddhist or they need to become an email add around a Buddhist. Not at all. We're not interested in evangelizing or converting anybody, but we are interested in everybody having access to the teachings that we have been fortunate enough to have access to, in particular that everybody has the possibility of learning to meditate it or to develop a meditation practice. So what do we mean by the term meditation? Obviously huge umbrella term that has now got a huge number of ideas and connotations attached to it. To people mean different things when they say meditation. It's not a very or a very specific term anymore. For many people, I think meditation actually is. They think of it as some sort of relaxation or contemplation or even prayer, but particularly something introspective, possibly even dreaming or some form of guided work, if it's guided meditation, as an idea of introspect, of work but in Buddhism it's not any of these. It's not any...

...kind of drowsy going inwards. It's nothing to do with self hypnosis or it's not therapeutic, in fact at all. It's not a going into ourselves or going deeper. It most definitely isn't any kind of cutting off, so becoming closed to the world. It is, however, relaxation, but it is this is perhaps a different kind of relaxation we're going to be talking about than the sort where you ask with a glass of cover and a candle. This is the relaxation of everything into its own condition, into the natural condition. So this is not a state of rest or stasis in any way. It's a vibrant, uninhibited interaction with reality. So this is a perhaps a different kind of relaxation to what we usually mean. I should say that this morning I'm going to do probably nearly all of the talking, maybe even all of it, as jacket is in charge of making sure that the ten is working this morning, because this is our first time giving this on the rolling page. But as the weeks go by, Jay will be doing lots of talking to so you'll get to here less of my voice and all of his. So, yes, that's why Buddhists meditate it. They may take it to discover that real relax relaxation, relaxing into the non dual state again, but we more about all of this later. All Buddhist practice is there to enable us to develop kindness and awareness. These are the human aspects of emptiness and form or form an emptiness. So will again these are terms that will be looking at as the weeks go by more and more. What we mean by that we can, of course, just look at. I hope that we all know what kindness is. Most of US know when we're being kind and we also know when we're not being kind. We can feel that. And I think we also have an understanding of what awareness is. There's perhaps we could talk about the being both nondual awareness, which again will come back to this, and basically US awareness of just being present enough with what's going on that we're are aware of ourselves and of our surroundings. Even this basic awareness we are often missing. If you have ever experienced getting to the end of...

...a page of a book that you're reading and realize that you can't actually remember anything that you've read and you have to start the paid over again, or you get to the end of a meal that you've been at shoveling in, maybe whilst you watching the television as well or something, and also you've didn't need to notice what you were eating per had. More scaredly, if you've ever got to the end of the car journey, particularly if it's one that you do regularly, maybe your journey to work or back, you get to the end of car journey and realize you've got no memory of the car journey. Or maybe you listening to someone and someone's talking to you and then you realize you haven't actually been listening and you've not got any knowledge of what they've just said to you. Or maybe you can't find your keys or your mobile phone or your glasses, as you've got old, it's more often those, but anything that we have with us all the time, and then realize we don't where they are. So all of these are times when basically we've not been aware. That's a lack of awareness, a lack of basic Monday awareness. So why does that happen? And that has because we're obviously distracted, we're busy doing something else rather than paying attention to what's actually occurring. That was we wouldn't have lost that knowledge, that awareness, and the the thing that we find that when we look at why did we lose that awareness, is that we would busy, we were busy doing something else, and that something else that we were busy doing was thinking, and that's thinking. A lot of the time we're not even aware that we're doing it. So this is this constant, that level of chattery discursive thought that's going on all the time that we get lost in. We are lost in thought, lost in thought stories often so that losing ourselves in thought tends to be one of three kinds of distractions are going on. We're either thinking about the future in some way. We're thinking about something that's going to happen, planning for it, running through it in our minds, catastrophizing, day dreaming, or we're caught in past thinking, when they're going over and over something that has happened, running over something that's gone on. Or even if we are thinking about what's...

...going on in the present, with thinking about it, we are making judgments on it, we are having a little dialog about it. So we have these this sort of being caught up with the future, past, judgment, dialog about the present, and these are all what we find is happening in our minds when we pay it to what's going on there. Now, that maybe doesn't matter very much that we're not paying attention. I'd say it doesn't matter when we're driving a car. I'd also said when some I'm talking to us, because if someone's talking does and we are busy thinking about shopping that we've got to do later, test goos and what we're going to Cook for dinner, then we're not really present for that other person and we're not listening to them, and that can lead to problems that can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication and put it people that we're close to. That's quite likely to happen. But there's another problem as well that occurs when we're just caught in discursive thought, and that is that it is much easier for us to just slip into kind of default patterns, default patterns of thinking and of behavior and speaking as well. Actually, we're slipping into basically any habitual reaction that has become a pattern for us. We are pretty much entirely creatures of habit we are patterned and we are conditioned by our patterning. And is this that become we become aware of when we start to take notice of, pay attention to what's actually occurring in our minds? So if this is, if this is how if I'm busy distracting myself with thoughts that something that happened yesterday, then I'm going to miss what's happening today. So obviously this is another problem with being distracted by discurs. It thought a lot of the time is that we're actually missing a lot. We can't of missing our lives. Actually, that means we're missing out on things are enjoyable. It means that we are less effective. I'm not going to be so good at doing anything today if I'm busy thinking about tomorrow yesterday. So being present is what makes us effective as well. It's what makes us kinder and it what what it's what makes us enjoy ourselves. This is where we find enjoyment in the moment. So why? Why is it like that? Why our minds so full? And are they really at though? I think maybe we'll try sitting for a few minutes now,...

...maybe two, two or three minutes, and while you're sitting, all I want you to do maybe close your eyes and just allow any thoughts that arise to arise. Any thoughts that arise, allow them to let them go, allow at them to go as well, and let the thoughts come, let the thoughts leave, and any thought story that you become aware of then just remain as uninvolved with it as you can. Just let it go. Okay, so a practiced at meditation and even if you are actually practiced meditation, you probably found then that you were thinking. If you didn't, then I should, after this session as ended, have another go sitting for a little bit longer and seeing what happens with your thought. As soon as we do try and sit and allow thoughts to fall away, to let go of thought stories, to remain uninvolved with whatever is arising in mind, as soon as we do that we become where a quite how busy amends are. As...

I said, a lot of the time this thinking is resting unconscious. So unless we do pay attention to it by trying to sit and let go of thought, we're going to be unlikely to even notice a lot of the thought content and the amount of thought that's going on. So paying attention to do it is the food going to be doing when we start learning to meditate. So one of the things that we might become aware of equickly when we pay attention to what we're thinking, is that we have these loops of thought, and there's a lot of them are unhelpful. This is the kind of thinking that we're all aware of that comes up when we get stuck in circles of thinking, particularly unhelpful, negative circles of thinking. We all know that. Perhaps where we're worrying about something or when we are trying to you get to sleep and we keep going churning over and over something, we've become aware of it then, but a lot of the time the low level, if there's not a lot of anxiety attached to it, the low level thinking, we won't be aware of until we sit. So this is the first thing we're going to be noticing. There's a lot of studies about meditation and the Benefits of Meditation. There's a huge amount of neuroscience out there now and a lot of it is really interesting and worth looking at, and all it needs is apply to Mr Google and you will find many studies reports. Obviously, use your discretion and really wants that, like them, would have some basics and science in them. But there's lots of stuff that you can look at if you're interested in what meditation might do in terms of working with this chattery discursive mind. Next week probably we will talk about a little bit more about the about neuroscience actually, and about how we understand now the ways in which, from a neuroscience point of view, the ways in which conceptual mind works and what meditation might do to cut against that to be able to start working with it. But the first thing we wanted to do this week was to give everyone a practice to go and enjoy it for the next week. Homework. Yes, like learning anything with all the most and if you wanted to learn musical instrument, or even if you just want to get a bit fitter and really remove your some of your stomach, you have to do it every day. If you just try for three hours every Sunday morning, not much progresses...

...made. so meditation is most definitely like that. It is far better to have a go sitting and develop meditation practice for five minutes each day then to sit once an hour. I wance a week for an hour. So much better to do it every day. Next week as well, we'll talk about posture, perhaps, about how we're going to sit and when we're going to sit, some practicalities around and to develop sit in practice. But all we really need to know that this week is something that we can get on with. And this will probably take up to ten minutes. So if you could find between five and ten minutes each day I practice this. This is she nay with form, and next sweet will describe will go through what that means as well. But this is a practice of giving the mind something to do, given conceptual mind something to do to distract it from what it's normally doing. So this is sitting, but paying attention to something else. And as many meditation models, many meditation systems do, this uses the breath. The breath is a marvelous I'm just putting what his to feeling in this thing. The breath is something that you can't leave higher without until you can't. Of course, it's there all the time, so it's something that's always available. There are other things to say about the qualities of breathwork, but for now what we're interested in is that it's something that we have available to all the time, and so it's something that we can focus on to give the mind something to do as we let go of discurs thought. So the practice is to just notice the breath. We don't have to develop any kind of deep breathing or any particular rhythm to our breathing. We just breathing normally. So we breathe normally, probably without eyes closed, unless we are used to meditating with the eyes open. It's a good way to start again. We'll talk more out that next week, but that's close our eyes. Notice that we're breathing and in particular we're going to notice the ant breath. So each time we breathe out, we're going to count in the Li so we only to make noise, but we as we breathe out, the first out breath will be one, the second out breath will be too, third outbreath will be three. I think you get the idea. And we go all the way...

...up to twenty one and then we come back. So we'll go from twenty one to twenty to nineteen and each with a each old breath. We can also have a sense of letting go as we breathe out. We can also let go of whatever is there in mind. So whatever thoughts are coming up, we just let them leave with the outbreath and, as as we said, the each our breath we empty. Now we're going up to twenty one and back down, and maybe up to twenty one again and back down. You might do it maybe three times during its that's if you manage to get to twenty one and back. It sounds simple, it sounds like most children could count twenty one and back, but try it and see. What you might find is that you're suddenly on thirty seven or you're on fifteen, but you can't remember whether you're going up to twenty one or we were already on your way back down. You might even find yourself at minus six, or you might just realize that you have forgotten to call. You've completely just lost the count. So this is an example of noticing what our mind is doing. The moment in which we realize that actually we are lost in our can't is a moment of coming back to being aware. So it's a good thing. So we don't have to feel pissed off with ourselves that we've forgotten to count or that we've gone to forty two. We can be quite pleased that actually we've returned to being present again, and so when we do that and we just start again, we pay attention again, we're back with the count. So with each out breath they're letting go thoughts. We're paying attention to this count. We got up to twenty one back. As I said, if you can try that for ten minutes each day and the next week will talk at it more about what might be happening there and if you another technique to start working with mind. And if you have any questions about today, you can email. You can always email us on make cell dot one, Mot gmailcom, or you can find you can send us messages here on facebook. Facebook, you can do that, and also on Sunday morning, between ten and eleven, I think, UK time, on Sunday morning we're going to be answering questions that anybody sends us about these sessions, these Monday morning sessions, and also about the Thursday evening classes that we're doing on working with the emotions. So you can also send questions in for us to answer on...

Sunday morning or tune in on Sunday morning and see if anybody else asks a question that you had as well. Okay, have a good week, enjoy your internutes, enjoy thank you so much for tuning in. Everybody, so bunch of people. Hello, we're all goodbye. Actually, yeah, I don't think they want to watch us going about the rest of the day.

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